Integrity in Golf - Why Golfers Are the Most Honorable Athletes in the Sports World

The following article includes pertinent information that may cause you to reconsider what you thought you understood. The most important thing is to study with an open mind and be willing to revise your understanding if necessary.

Think about what you've read so far. Does it reinforce what you already know about Golfing Sport? Or was there something completely new? What about the remaining paragraphs? 

Golf is said to be the sport of kings and one might add that it is also known as a sport where honesty and sportsmanship are integral components. In many athletic events there is often a great deal of behavior that could be the cause for reprimands and penalties. If there should not be a penalty called you don't hear many of the players volunteering to call, "Foul" on themselves. However golf is a different breed of athletic competition and in this game personal integrity is as important as winning. In some instances a player will be remembered more for how he played the game than if he recorded another victory.

There are a number of other instances that show the consummate sportsmanship of professional golfers. Bobby Jones is one of the most famous golfing names in the long history of this sport and this man never lost sight of his ideals and integrity during the many matches that he would play in his lifetime.

At one point while Jones was still an amateur he was set to play in the finals of the US Open in 1925. It appears that an errant shot had his ball ending up in the rough located beside the fairway. He accidentally moved the ball with his club while he was setting up for this important shot and even though the movement of the golf ball would not have been noticed by anyone else Jones called his own penalty and announced it to the marshals that were just a few paces away.

After an intense discussion the marshals and the gallery observers all agreed that they had not seen any movement of the ball which placed the call squarely back on Jones's shoulders. The golfing legend displayed exemplary sportsmanship when he let it be known that he wanted the penalty call to stand. This 2 stroke penalty caused Bobby Jones to lose the 1923 US Open by one stroke but his sense of honesty and fair play earned him legions of new fans. Today there is a sportsmanship award that is given by the USGA each year that is appropriately named the Bob Jones Award.

Mark Wilson was another golfer who stepped up and let everyone know that he had violated the rules of play. This happened when his caddie gave him a bit of advice during the play of a shot. It was only an inadvertent mention of the available loft for a particular club, but to Wilson it was important enough for him to realize that a rule had been broken. No one besides these 2 players was likely to have noticed but it is to Wilson's credit that he "manned up" and called a 2 stroke self penalty during the 2010 Honda Classic.

In 1983 another golfing great, Hale Irwin, put himself out of playoff contention by counting a missed shot that was not even technically a penalty. This is just further proof of the seriousness of the rules that golfers abide by.

The LPGA Tour also has its share of fair minded players and one of the best examples is Meg Mallon. She once had a golf ball that fell on a coin she was using as a marker. This may not seem like such a major gaffe but this type of incident is covered in the rules book and means a player must be assessed a 1 stroke penalty. Mallon could have let this unnoticed action simply remain ignored because no one else was watching, but her integrity and sense of honor called for her to report the matter to the officials and accept the penalty.

When it comes to playing an honorable game golfers certainly seem to be determined, sports-minded individuals who try to uphold the best ideals and principles whether anyone is watching them or not.

As your knowledge about Golfing Sport continues to grow, you will begin to see how Golfing Sport fits into the overall scheme of things. Knowing how something relates to the rest of the world is important too.